PATNA: Five wanted Maoist leaders, including two carrying monetary rewards on their heads and a woman rebel, were arrested and eight sophisticated guns were recovered from them following an encounter with security forces in Jharkhand’s Giridih district on Monday.
Sunil Manjhi, a member of Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee (BJSAC) of the CPI (Maoists) who carried an award of Rs 25 lakh on his head, and sub-zonal commander Charlie alias Shekhar, who carried an award of Rs 5 lakh on his head, were among the five arrested in the Parasnath hills area.
One AK-47 rifle, five INSAS rifles, two .303 rifles, more than 200 rounds of bullets, codex wires, a walkie-talkie, a diary used by the rebels and their training manual were also recovered by CRPF and district police personnel from the site. The guns were all previously looted from policemen. It is believed the Maoists were getting ready to perpetrate some major attack in the area in near future.
“This is a major success in the anti-insurgency operations carried out by the security forces in Jharkhand. The arrests took place after an encounter with the rebels,” said CRPF IG Sanjay Anand Latkar. Identities of the five arrested rebels were being ascertained and a combing operation in the area was still on, he added.
Sources said the diary contains daily financial transactions of the Maoists and their sources of levy collection from a businessman. “It will prove useful in unravelling the rebels’ funding sources in the area,” said an official.
In Latehar district, another wanted Maoist leader, Upendra Kharwar, surrendered himself before police on Monday. Kharwar belonged to the Jharkhand Janmukti Parishad (JJP) group of Maoists and was carrying an award of Rs 10 lakh, said DIG Vipul Shukla. Kharwar was presented with a cheque of Rs 10 lakh soon after his surrender as per the state government’s policy.
Security forces in Jharkhand had gunned down four Maoists of the CPI(Maoist) outfit, including two women, in Palamu district and arrested three other rebels of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) outfit in Khunti district on February 26.